The Math Whisperer

There once was a time (pre-2020) when schools and parents relied on test results to measure progress. In today’s world, assessing academic standing has become more challenging. We reached out to Carnegie Prep tutoring guru Jesse Bass, aka “the math whisperer,” for some helpful insights into keeping kids on the academic right track. Having tutored more than 600 students during the past 14 years, Bass has logged over 600,000 minutes of experience and yet, he says that he’s never met a student who was “maxed out on math.”

No. 1
In this new environment, students are finding themselves less bound by their next standardized tests, which means that it might be the perfect time to think about hiring a tutor. And, thanks to Zoom, the convenience of at-home educational resource assistance has never been more convenient. Bass finds online tutoring to be just as effective as in-person learning and relies on factors such as eye wandering to help him keep tabs on students who are losing focus.

No. 2
Instead of waiting until you see your child struggling and taking action defensively, Bass suggests an offensive approach. He explains that “a golfer would never consider changing their swing mid-season” and that “most growth comes during the off season when you’re not afraid to fail.” Most learning comes from making mistakes, so now is the time. Normally Bass tutors students for six to 10 weeks in preparation for big tests but now that he’s seeing more students “studying indefinitely,” having a tutor is a great way to stay on track.

No. 3
In addition to seeking learning assistance from a professional there are numerous great free resources available for online help and there has never been a better time to take advantage. Bass often suggests that students visit the graphing website It has built-in lessons for students but can also be a great tool for them to explore on their own. The college board and the ACT have also released free, easy to access resources that Bass highly recommends.

No. 4
“We often think that math is simply about adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, but what it’s really about is developing the necessary critical thinking skills,” says Bass. He aims to help students learn techniques to find solutions to problems in the same ways that they would with a real life situation. Bass instructs students to take the RASA (read, asses, set up a game plan and then attack) approach when looking at an equation. Most importantly, Bass reminds students that their job is to figure out how to do everything that a calculator cannot.

No. 5
Turns out, real life skills come from being good at math

  • An ability to anticipate what’s next
  • Being efficient with your time
  • Reading comprehension and interpretation
  • Problem solving


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